15,000 pounds of litter collected by Orange County volunteers

Published 12:06 am Thursday, February 29, 2024

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A volunteer army turned out last weekend for the Community Trash-Off in Orange County, with one organizer estimating there were 342 participants.

For comparison sake, Orange Newsmedia was told there was less than 275 participants in 2023.

Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center Volunteer Services Coordinator Amara Townsend helped coordinate the participants and groups who did the cleaning up this year.

She said manageable weather helped the “really wonderful” community response.

This year’s event was the 29th annual effort.

“Next year will be the 30th and we hope it will be even bigger and better,” Townsend said. “Hopefully, we’ll do something a little bit extra for the event.

The five year veteran at Shangri La noticed a lot of repeat participants and groups.

“A lot of the community members here in Orange are no strangers to service,” she said. “I see a lot of volunteers at other volunteer events throughout the community. It’s nice seeing that spirit continued whenever we have this trash off event, seeing familiar faces and also new faces. There was a great response on social media.”

The teams collected approximately 15,000 pounds of litter and 26 tires in Orange, West Orange, Pinehurst and unincorporated Orange County.

“It is always received very well whenever there is an opportunity to support what the community is doing,” Townsend said.

“The Stark Foundation is a big part of the community and a name that people recognize. This is just an extra event that we can collaborate with the city, and along with our sponsors, to beautify Orange and promote that togetherness and community spirit.”

Dow also sponsored the 2024 event.

Participants gathered at the City of Orange Riverside Pavilion, where teams picked up event t-shirts and prepared for the day.

Organizers say teams build camaraderie by working together to clean trash from neighborhoods and waterways.

The event culminated with a free pizza party for all participants.

Participating teams included:

Boy Scouts Troop 1

Chevron Phillips Chemical

Cub Scout Pack 220

Cub Scout Pack 311


First United Methodist Church

Golden Triangle Polymers

Golden Triangle Emergency Center


Lamar Institute of Technology

Life Church of Orange

Little Cypress JH Student Council

LSCO Student Government Association

Orange County Texas Exes

Rotary Club of Orange

Sabine Federal Credit Union

Sabine-Neches Chapter Texas Master Naturalist

Second Baptist Church Bridge City Youth

St. Mary’s Youth Group

Wellspring Credit Union

WOS Elementary Student Council